JG speller advances at national bee

Boston student competing in national spelling bee

Faith Baca of Aurora, an eighth-grader at the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning, successfully spelled "sempiternal", which means eternal and unchanging.

Weeded down from a starting field of 291 contestants on Wednesday in the 90th national Bee, the finalists face off at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in suburban Washington.

The national preliminaries had 71 students misspell words, leaving 188 competitors to be whittled down based on written tests.

She earned the spot in the third round after spelling buckminsterfullerene - a spherical molecule also called a bucky-ball - during the second round earlier in the day.

Tarsier was among a list of 400 study words sent to all spellers advancing to the national finals.

It was announced Wednesday that students had to achieve a score of 29 or better to advance, Miller said.

"Before my words, I was very nervous", she said. As is customary among high-level spellers, she asked the bee's official pronouncer, Dr. Jacques Bailly, questions about the word to gather information that might help her determine the correct spelling.

Rana would repeat spellings "over and over and over again", he said.

Samhita Kumar's run in the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended Thursday when she misspelled her third word in the finals.

Fifteen spellers have advanced to the primetime finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, where they'll test their knowledge of Webster's Unabridged dictionary.

"I glanced at [the list] and looked at it once or twice, but I'm not as hardcore into the competitive sport as some kids are", he said.

Play Video - 1:22 Meet the youngest-ever National Spelling Bee contestant: She's 6! But neither garnered enough points on written tests to continue on to Thursday's final rounds.

The bee is down to the final 15 contestants, and the victor will be decided at 8:30 tonight ET on ESPN.

Fuller, who is homeschooled by her parents, qualified for the bee in March at just five years old, the age of most kindergartners.


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